26 Vancouver pot shops slapped with tickets for operating illegally
Marijuana dispensaries each fined $250 for operating without business licence
The City of Vancouver says its bylaw officers have handed out tickets to 26 pot shops for operating illegally.
In October 2015, the city gave 140 marijuana dispensaries a deadline of April 29, 2016 to relocate or shut their doors for not meeting licensing criteria, like being too close to a school.
The city said bylaw officers started enforcing that deadline Saturday by giving each of 23 pot shops a $250 fine for remaining open, according to a press release.
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Andreea Toma, chief licence inspector for the city, said another three locations were earlier given tickets for opening illegally after the city stopped accepting business licence applications for marijuana dispensaries last August.
The city says it has issued a total 44 violations. So far, 22 dispensaries have closed.
Toma pointed out stores who remain defiant risk being fined $250 for every day they remain open and could be taken to court.
"We are moving forward with prosecutions and injunctions," she said. "We are serious about this."
The city's reinforced enforcement efforts are expected to continue this week. The city says it will also be gathering information needed for legal action.
Marijuana dispensary 'Bc Pain Society' was ticketed $250 over the wknd for not being licensed. <a href="https://t.co/6mNBfuo6yp">pic.twitter.com/6mNBfuo6yp</a>—@BrennaRoseTV
6 of Don Briere's shops got fines today. He says he's planning on fighting each one <a href="https://t.co/Gp34O3mxEV">pic.twitter.com/Gp34O3mxEV</a>—@MegsBatchelor
With files from Brenna Rose